Why is Talking Politics Taboo?

HELP! I’m a Millennial and I don’t know who to vote for!

This election season has been loud. Honestly, it’s reminiscent of a bad run of a sloppy reality TV show. It’s underhanded, strategic, and trashy. Oh wait, that’s politics.

Full stop.

But, I’m not done. Here’s the thing: everyone keeps telling me voting is a privilege, an obligation, an expectation, but nobody is telling me how to decide. Obviously, nobody can tell me who to vote for or what campaign items I should pay attention to. Clearly, this is how democracy works. Understandably, I’m the only one who knows what I value and how I feel about each candidate’s platform. I GET IT! But, there’s a part of me that’s itching to talk this out with someone. How can I do that if talking about politics is so taboo?!?!

I’ve heard, “honestly I’m just not confident in any of the candidates.” I’ve contemplated the hypotheses about how to vote savvy and make sure some other candidate doesn’t get the nomination – lesser of the evils I guess. What I haven’t heard is anyone advocate for a candidate as opposed to against the next best alternative. I’ve even heard “this election is a joke” and “I’m moving to Canada.”

Politics is cutthroat. It’s accompanied by an overwhelming, seemingly necessary silence and cloud of fog that makes the real issues and agenda items so difficult to grasp. Some people call for more transparency from the politicians. I’m here to call for more conversations that are grounded in a desire to learn and listen rather than argue and advocate; especially, if they’re difficult to have. [Side note: this relates to more than just politics. Read between the lines!]

This is my second time voting in a presidential election. The first time, the choice was easy. I was so caught up in the excitement of voting I’m not sure I took the responsibility seriously enough. Now, I’m fully engulfed in the Millennial identity – the good, the bad, and the ugly – and I’m swimming in the narratives that remind me that my generation is “the future”. Suddenly this responsibility feels ominous and heavy. This is especially burdensome when I can’t get my hands on a single piece of unbiased media. I’m more confused than ever. I’m less confident in my preferences (candidates aside). I’m increasingly convinced my vote won’t even make a difference.  The game of politics is a triumphant, slightly elegant fanfare of trial and error disguised as strategic decision making. How can I decipher the chaos and “show” of it all and make an informed choice? 

This is important. It’s literally the future. Politics is messy. It’s uncomfortable – think #boundaries. It’s clever and a bit deceptive. But, it’s actually relevant to our lives. So, let’s talk.

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